Saturday, June 27, 2015

Quick trip!

Summer is a time for family, fun, and trips. 

Unfortunately, I am in nursing school this summer. I'm trying not to be bitter about it, but honestly, these classes should be online courses. I'm not enjoying it and I am feeling kind of grumpy that I have to be tethered to home this whole summer for school. 

Well, I guess my husband was getting tired of seeing all of his Facebook friends enjoying their vacations camping, tubing, Disney World-ing, beaching, and all the fun things other than staying home. 

He came home this week from work saying, "Gee I wish we could go to Universal Studios." 

My reaction? In my head, I was screaming that I am always ready to go ANYWHERE! But my mouth said, "Wow, that is really specific. What brought that on?"

We got into a discussion about how he felt stuck at home because of my school and he had really wanted to take the kids somewhere over the break, and he saw a commercial for Universal and really wanted to go. 

I thought he was just venting, but knowing my husband and his ability to be easily swayed, especially when it is all laid out neatly for him, I got online and started looking. The kids sat with me as I looked on the website. 

I heard him in the other room talking about how flights are so expensive and he wondered if they even had package deals with inexpensive hotels in the area. I was already two steps ahead of him, finding prices for a hotel, flight, and 3 day passes to the parks. 

Honestly, when I found the Cabana Bay Beach Hotel, I was sold immediately. I would have said anything to convince Josh to go on this trip. 

Check out Cabana Bay....

It's new, its mid-century themed, and it is super reasonable. I am obsessed with all things 50's and 60's and I just could barely keep my mouth shut. It has a bowling alley, amazing beaches and pools, great themed dining, a lazy river, and just the cutest themed rooms ever.

So, I found a round-trip flight for the four of us, picked 4 days right after school lets out for me, found a room at Cabana Bay, and picked out park admission tickets for 3 days. Josh came into the room still trying to talk himself out of wanting to go when my package price came up. 

"This can't be right," I said quietly. 

Josh said, "I know. It's too expensive for us to fly somewhere right now."  

I shook my head and said, "For round trip flight to Orlando, 4 days in the on-site hotel, transportation, and a 3 day park pass for all four of us is less than our 4 day cruise we took last summer." 

Josh instantly sat up. "Really??" This is what I love about Josh. He is such a kid. 

I told him we could leave Friday, the day after I get out of school, spend Saturday and Sunday at the 2 Universal parks, spend Monday hanging around Orlando and end it going to Medieval Times, and then fly back early Tuesday morning...just in time for Meet the Teacher for Jansen that evening. 

Needless to say, we booked it. We leave August 14th. I'm so excited!!! I have been to Orlando for Disney World 5 times, but have never been to Orlando to try other things. We even thought about going to Lego's only about an hour drive from Orlando. It's still a possibility. 

I just want to fast forward to August. Dang you nursing school...cramping my style!! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

We celebrate the men in our lives that raise us, love us, and inspire us. Happy Father's Day. 

Today I was able to spend it with my husband, the father of my children, and my dad, who is still recovering from a knee replacement. 

Josh was on graveyards so he woke up around noon, we picked up some dinner, and headed to my parents' house. 

I love these men!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

NOH8 campaign

Ok, here it controversial post. But again, this is my blog and I post what I want. 

I am a Christian who supports gay marriage. Why? 

#1: Legal rights. Partners should have access to each other in the hospital. They should be able to make life and death decisions for each other. They should be allowed in critical care rooms. They should be allowed to assign insurance benefits to their partner. They should be able to receive health insurance under their partner's employer. They should be allowed to be a beneficiary of life insurance when their partner passes. They should be able to share in the civil liberties that I have because I am my husband's spouse. 

#2: I'm not God. It's not my place to judge how anyone lives their life. Incidently, I am of the opinion that people are born that way and cannot change their orientation any more than I can change my orientation and suddenly become a lesbian. People are born with variety of diseases, disabilities, deletions, combinations of boy and girl "parts" and yes...they were born that way. God doesn't make mistakes. So for the child that was born with a neurological matter. For the child that was born with both male and female matter.  My child was born with Autism, and I fight for acceptance and his rights as a human being daily. If my child were born gay, I would fight for his rights as a human being daily.

#3: If you don't like it...don't do it. This situation doesn't even effect me. I am not homosexual, so it is not an issue for me whether or not my homosexual neighbor can be legally married or not. So I don't care. Go ahead and get married. For the religious aspect of it I have several responses. For those who say marriage is between a man and a woman...great. But people are trying to gain access to civil rights! The ability to have all the things listed in #1. Telling someone they cannot do something because you think it is wrong is like telling me I can't have a milkshake because you are fat. What if the person is athiest, agnostic, Pentacostal, Wiccan, Catholic, Baptist, Free, Muslim? That's like saying, well...Muslim women should all wear a hijab, and you aren't Muslim, but Muslims are right so now you have to wear a hijab. That's not going to work. America...religious freedom even means for those who have no religion. It's just a fact. 

I am not the type to get overly political or even try to convert people to my way of thinking. It's mine, and that is what is beautiful about America. I get to have my own opinion and make my own decisions. Because of the brave women that came before me, I can vote, I can blog, I can choose to work or stay home, I have access to reproductive health resources, I can choose who I want to marry, I have health insurance and life insurance through my husband. Why? Because they are my rights as an American citizen. That is what the movement is about. Not whose religion is correct. Not whether or not we believe that this is a moral issue. Not whether or not we believe this is a choice or a birth destiny. Not whether or not you approve of the lifestyle. Can my friend and his life partner, who have been together over 10 years, have the same rights and benefits that Josh and I do being married over 14 years? It's so simple that it's maddening to me. 

That said, in March my best friend and I saw that the NOH8 campaign was coming to Austin, a short 3 hour drive from our town. We have been talking about wanting to show our support and take photos for years so we jumped on this opportunity. We got a lot of backlash for it, and that's ok. I feel strongly about it and I wanted to do it. But we also got a lot of support from it. Evidently they had a huge response to this year's campaign and it took them quite a long time to get our professional pictures in. But they came in today. 

I think they turned out well! They did different poses of us, but chose this one, which was honestly my favorite as well. I'm so glad that we were able to do this together in our super conservative state of Texas. Maybe one day, things will be different. I would love to see it in my lifetime. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

DIY lava lamp

I love to do fun little projects with my kids, and while Caleb is gone to camp, Jansen and I can choose some activities to do together.

Today's activity is based on science. Let's make a lava lamp!

The science behind a lava lamp is simple. We didn't use heat to elicit movement, we used salt. 

Because oil is less dense than water, the two will not mix and the oil will sit on matter how many times you try to shake the bottle (as Jansen found out).

Once the salt, which is heavier, is poured in, it falls to the bottom of the bottle, carrying the oil with it. Eventually the salt will dissolve in the water, leaving just the oil to float back to the top. This creates the movement of the "lava" without needing heat. 

If you want to make your own, here's how you can do it:

You will need water, oil, food coloring, glitter (optional but fun), salt, and a clear bottle.

Fill the bottle about 2/3 full with water, then the remaining 1/3 with oil. Don't fill it all the way to the top to leave a bit of air for the mixing. 

Add your glitter and about 10 drops of your choice of food coloring. Jansen chose green. He loves all shades of green.

Close the cap tightly and invert the bottle a few times to mix the coloring into the water. Allow some time for the glitter oil to separate back on the top. 

Then pour in salt little by little and watch the "lava" move!

Jansen was totally into it. Simple, fun, free, and educational.

Here's a quick video of the lava lamp in motion...

First time at camp

Today is the first time ever that Caleb goes to camp. 

He has never really been away from us. Yes, he has stayed with my parents when Josh and I have gone on a short trip, but he has never been on his own without a family member. 

I'm a bit worried about his behavior. Hopefully he can keep himself under control! They can't have their phones so he can't even text me if he needs to. Agh, I never had a cell phone as a kid and I was fine, so I am sure he will be too. 

I hope he has fun. I hope he loves his survival skills class. I hope he doesn't cry. I hope he meets some new friends. I hope he remembers to take his medicine. I hope he showers and brushes his teeth at least once over the next four days. I hope he has some new, great experiences. I hope he can sleep. I hope he isn't picked on and doesn't pick on anyone else. I hope I don't worry about him the whole 4 days he is gone. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

First day of senior year...Nursing school

Summer school has begun!

This 11 week semester is hopefully going to be slower paced than previous semesters. Please Lord. I am taking Maternal nursing (L&D) and Pediatrics and have clinicals at the health department and a labor and delivery rotation at Matagorda Regional Hospital.

We pretty much know what our pedi schedule will look like, as well as the clinical schedule...but maternal...who knows. It makes me nervous to not be able to predict these kinds of things. 

But seriously, I'm just trying to finish. I'm trying to change my thought process to just one week at a time. Just put one foot in front of the other this week, show up and do your best, and be done. I am such an overachiever and I have been working on this for 2.5 years now, giving it my all, and I am tired of doing that. I just don't feel like I can or want to give it my 100%. 

Now by 100% I mean I am no longer going to turn down all invitations on the weekends, forgo going to my kids events etc. Yes there are times when I will have to do school work. And when I get a job, there will be times when I have to work. But by then, I am hoping that I have fallen in love with nursing and will find it all worth it. 

Until then...make it through nursing school. Complete it. Take the licensure exam and pass it. Then find a job if I am ready. Stop trying to plan out everything and worry about things that haven't happened yet. I'm a work in progress. As Janis Joplin said, "You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow.".

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Field Day and Last Day of School

My oldest had Field Day yesterday but parents were not allowed to attend. That's ok, because I am sick with a major sinus infection, so I stayed home on the couch most of the day. 

Jansen also had Field Day and thankfully, some of my friends were there and took a couple of photos of him and sent them to me. I love that!

Jansen has been so excited about school to be out, but today he is feeling a little emotional. He is my child that is full of emotion. He is not necessarily a crier, but he feels things very strongly and has a tendency to be a bit depressive. 

He enjoyed Field Day though!

This morning, I took a quick picture of the boys before school to compare it to the first day of school. 

Caleb ran to the bus, ready to experience it all and Jansen slowly walked to the car. As he got out of the car to walk into school, he turned to tell me, "Mom, I am going to live like today is my last day on Earth." I was like...ok....

I love those boys! Even though I am in nursing school again this summer, I am going to do my best to still spend tons of time with the kiddos having fun and cherishing moments with them. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

End of year awards

I am so happy that my professor let me out of class early so that I could go to my boys' award ceremonies. It was stressful to get to 2 schools in the same hour, but we did it!

Caleb's came first. I am glad this year is almost over. He is going to have several different teachers next year instead of just the two. He will be taking pre-AP classes, concert band for trombone, construction science, and career exploration. He's excited to start 7th grade. I can't believe he only has two more years there and then he is headed to high school! AGH!

Jansen's was next. He is finishing up his elementary school career. Although he has been ready to be out of school since the second day of school, he is a bit emotional about starting a new school in the Fall. I can understand that. He is actually excited about the new classes that he can take once he gets to be Caleb's age. When we were reviewing class schedules, he saw that Clute Intermediate offers a culinary arts program and was ready to sign up immediately!

So here we are. Today is Field Day, I am home sick, and tomorrow is the last day of school and is early dismissal. I hope I feel better tomorrow so that I can go to Jansen's school for his party. I want to get a few final pictures in. Caleb started Polk in 2008 for Kindergarten and Jansen followed along in 2010. Seven years I have had my kiddos there at the same school I began in 1985. Closing this chapter of our lives and moving into a brand new one.